American Haiku

My lips are freezing
In chilly North Chicago
My heart is too warm

My ankles have burned
On sand as hot as Texas
Beached within the South

Somewhere lost between them
A child walks far too slow
Gone to all who knew her

‘member the children
Our flesh will wither too soon
The future’s gift they’ll be

Are they forgotten?
Or just part of us?
Held in heart, hostage?

Lost there is nothing
A country is merely land
People are shadows

If I found her
I’d color her lips with warmth
Protect her from Chicago

I would give her faith
In southern Texas sand
Wrap her feet with care

There is America
Land that won’t swallow her young
Devoted to their finding

In my dream
My flesh withered too soon
But children are safe and warm

Box of Trinkets

I was sitting on a rock twenty feet below her
Early morning
Body warming
She was standing on a rock twenty feet above me
Eyes fixed toward heaven
A gaze all her own
In her hand she held a box of trinkets
She startled me for a moment, and when I looked up an eagle flew from by my side
 From right by my side!
“Look!” I yelled
But she was already gone
I climbed up to where she had been
On the rocks she left for me a trinket
Inscribed upon it was one word—“Give”
I have been back to my rock many times
But have seen no eagles
As for the angel
I think it rare to see one twice
But I try to give
At least in my own way
Early morning
Body warming
Box of trinkets 

An Ode to Fritz, King of Weiner Dogs

He wasn’t sophisticated
Or debonair
But he could steal the show
And piddle far
He was a hit with the ladies
And Dieter too
He could steal the show
And piddle far
Oh, Fritzie
You’re still a star
Fritz thought that he was equal
Fritz thought that he was people
Well he’d roll in smelly piles
Fritz was my buddy
Short, brown, and stubby
He could pull those rocks right out of Weaver Lake
Oh, Fritz I miss the lake
He could sit on two legs
And beg like a dog
He knew what he liked
And he did what he wanted
But he knew what loyalty was
And he knew when he’d been bad
And he could make you fall in love
Just like he did to my Dad
Fritz thought that he was equal
Fritz though that he was people
Well he’d roll in fetid piles
Fritz was my buddy
Short, brown, and ruddy
Well he could pull those rocks right out of Weaver Lake
Fritz I miss the lake
We’ll always have the lake
Well I can see Fritz sitting in an empty hall
In that house on Weaver Lake
He knew change was gonna come
And I can see Fritz lying dead, I’m dumb, there’s no one home
Well I still couldn’t look away
But I can see Fritz
Running down that hill
Knowing those rocks weren’t far away
Fritz thought that he was equal
Fritz thought that he was people
Well he’d roll in stinky piles
Fritz was my buddy
Short, brown, and muddy
He could pull those rocks right out of Weaver Lake
Fritz I miss the lake
I’ll see you at the lake

Everything Nothing Something

I ask, do you love me?
I think I give myself I way
I turn my heart out
For everyone to see

You ask, do I love you?
In time I surely will
For now, you are leaving
Are you with me still?

Life has a way
Of killing you slowly
It’s good
It’d bad
It’s crazy
It’s sad

And life has a way
Of making you lonely
Your friends
Your lovers
Your Mom
Your Dad

Baby can you hear me?
Even across the miles
Jesus can you hear me?
Am I still your lovely child?

Buddha can you teach me?
I’ve been lost out here a while
Baby can you save me?
With just one smile

Once in a while

Life has a way
Of being the only
Gift you gave
You cherished
You saved

And life
It just may
Leave you so lonely
You pray
To stay
So close

And it’s all the same
Everything, nothing, something
It’s just a game
It’s nothing, something, anything
Forget the blame
It’s your thing, my thing, nothing
Forget the shame
It’s nothing…

The space that’s between us
Proves there’s weight in the air
These truths that bind us
Make lies too crude to bear

Where will the hours find us?
And how will our bodies wear?
And if the hours blind us
Are we too blind to care?

Well I don’t care

‘Cause life has a way
Of showing you the only
Paths to take
And plans to make

And life has a way
Of showing you slowly
That you are okay


As quick as two minutes can pass
My thoughts had run cold
Visions of Maria and that bartender
Pogo’d in my head
I knew I had to get out of there
Three hundred miles later I was at the South Dakota border
Stopped for some snacks
Beef jerky and Funyuns
Drank a cold beer in the parking lot
There were rednecks out there screaming something useless
I got into the car
Rolled up my windows
Smoked a number
And thought about Maria
Drove myself to a gun shop
But didn’t have the guts or the identification to buy one
So instead I went to a picture show
I really wasn’t sure what to do
I think they showed Xanadu
God I hate Olivia Newton-John

DreamBlog: Weird University

M.C. Escher iPhone wallpaper

I am strolling across a campus I sense is somewhere in Indiana.   The buildings are quite spaced out, set generously around a long, wide green.  It is a bright and warm fall afternoon.  Colored fallen leaves roll wistfully along the ground and in the breeze.   As I walk toward my destination (presumably, class) I am aware that I am among the older students and that my schoolmates throughout the lawn are all apparently female.  Although I barely notice them, they all seem in my peripheral vision to be attractive, young, and Caucasian, with long, flowing, straight hair.  As I cross one footpath, there is a small group of girls who I do fully notice.  They have laid down a blanket and are standing three in front, three in back and are all holding musical instruments of the lighter variety—triangles and small percussion.  The girls start their first tune, and I recognize and dislike it, but the crowd around them cheer out in enthusiasm as they pass.  I distinctly feel it was an easy, shameless selection, one playing to the listeners’ base musical instincts rather than a choice of interest or character.

I continue on in the journey to class, but despite not having a clear conception of the route or exact destination, I go to the right into a dark and enclosed interior building space.  I climb upward and to the left, and suddenly enter what occurs to me as “cloisters,” but this doesn’t feel a place of peaceful solitude.  Cut into dark grey stone are ornate carvings of religious figures, not Christ or Mohammed but popes and cardinals.  These are set into pod-like spaces, where I understand one would sit, reflect, and ask for forgiveness.  I don’t like the way these look—too cold, too smooth, too enclosed,  and too ominous.  I tiptoe in the tight space between them and walk down and to the left.  The carvings and floor plan open up a bit here, but it is disorienting and scary.  The path down and out of the building remind me of an M.C. Escher artwork, and the oddly jutting detailed imagery in stone vaguely recalls H.R. Geiger.

I leave the building via a side door and am keenly aware that if not trespassing I’m at least using a disapproved route.  At one point I sense a male classmates is trying to follow me—not in a creepy way but just for navigation—though I do not acknowledge him in any way.  The space between the first building and second is also very tight, but whereas the exit from the first seems ramshackle and betraying of the intricate, labor-intense interior, the entrance to the second is smallish, open to the sun, grand and classical.  Cut from a yellowish stone, columns predominate the entrance, which is unreachable because of a congregation of men either performing or concluding some type of service or rite.  These men (and a supportive woman or two vaguely sensed among them) are no Christians, however, though they do wear hats reminiscent of the Papacy.  Their skin is darkly complected, and I sense a more Indian or Hindu vibe, though their dress is limited to simplistic robes and tall funny hats.  While I believe them to be in a celebratory mood, their outward behavior is stoic, almost foreboding.

I pass to the right around the crowd and back into the space between buildings and I begin to ascend a level.  Above, Professor Charles Adams, a seemingly evil glare in his eye and grimace across his mouth thrusts a hunchback-like arm in the air, encouraging anyone who may be accompanying me (but not me directly) to “Follow Jon…he’ll show you the correct path.”  Despite his seeming confidence in my chosen direction or navigational prowess, I can’t tell it an affirmation or instruction, or if he is sinisterly ushering others toward an evil or ill fate.  When I reach the top level, Adams and his teaching assistant are gone, and I am alone on a poorly constructed rooftop strewn with loose shingles, weathered boards, and broken nails.  I find a light plywood door, painted black and fitting poorly, which seems to lead back to the front of the building and the Pope-esque Hindus.  As I pass through the door, the dream is gone.


Top Ten Shows I’d Rather Watch than American Idol

Former logo of American Idol from 2002 to 2008.

Image via Wikipedia

Look folks, I used to be a big fan.  In fact, I go back all the way back to Season One and a little pop sensation I like to call Kelly Clarkson.  But the show has gotten stale, “jumping” Fonzi’s famous shark several seasons past.  Shoot, even the normally calm and tolerant Simon Cowell can’t take it anymore.  So it got me to thinking…if any American-themed show were available to replace the 260 hours of weekly Idol and Idol-related Fox content, what would I consider as an alternative? 

And with that, the Top Ten Shows I’d Rather Watch Than American Idol

10) American Garbage Can—a straight hour of any random American garbage can.  Maybe you see garbage dumped in, maybe you don’t.  If someone drops off a load, you’ll be especially lucky to catch a quick open, sniff, expression of disgust, and rapid shut. 

9) American Colostomy Bag —a weekly special dedicated to the procedure—ne fine art—that is the removal of human waste via the bypassing of the lower intestines and excretory system.

8 ) American Cowpie (dried up cow dung) Toss—who doesn’t love an old-fashioned cowpie toss?  Plus, there must surely be some crossover fans between AC (‘merican Colonoscopy) and ACT

7) American Tuna Fish—a day in the life of a can of Tuna Fish.  Utilizes state-of-the-art technologies such as the Grocery Cart Cam and Cupboard Cam.  Television viewing on the topic of tuna has never been so tasty.

6) American Back Pain—From visits to the specialist, chiropractor, back to the specialist, to the pharmacist, back to old Dr. Budweiser, this show chronicles the spellbindingly non-specific yet crippling condition of lower to mid and upper back pain, told from the perspective of Jerry, a 44 year-old plumber and father of three from Hoboken, NJ.  Things take a wild turn in Season Two when “that hippy friend” of Jerry’s wife convinces him to try Yoga.  Once.

5) American Freak-O-Nature—from Paula LaGrange’s impossibly wide bottom to Frank Dellareese’s freaky third nipple, this show ensures that at least the most fucked-up among us get our 15 minutes of fame.  If you missed last year’s season opener (“Unibrows and the Women Who Love Them”) be sure not to miss this year’s, entitled “Belly Button Funk: Get Funky!”

4) American Spittoon—this one will launch you back in time to when your pappy, grandpappy, uncle, cousin, brother, or son used to “gather everybody around the old spittoon” to tell stories about adventure, adversity, and snus.  Well, mostly just snus.

3) American Cheese—concept still in development, but the material thus far seems overly processed and virtually tasteless.  Critics and fans alike won’t shed many tears when this series is mercifully “individually wrapped.”

2) American Lint Filter—the first all-out drama to make the Top Ten list, this show touchingly reenacts the trials and travails that can occur when a lint trap is wholly overloaded and leads to explosion and/or generally poor indoor air quality. 

1) America’s Got Talent—no seriously.  I’d rather watch this.  No, I’d rather drop a cowpie in a spittoon, the contents of which were deposited by America’s most degenerate freak, wrap it in American cheese, slather it generously with tuna fish, roll the concoction vigorously in lint, let it fester on the sweaty mid-back of Jerry from Hoboken’s sweaty plumber’s back and then feed it to myself through my own colostomy tube.  I’m done.